Student Academic Engagement & Success

Help SMU Students Dress for Success with Donations to Career Closet!

The Hegi Family Career Development Center, Cox School of Business, and the Student Affairs Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement are thrilled to announce the upcoming Career Closet event to help serve SMU students as they prepare to enter the workforce! The Career Closet aims to provide SMU students with new and gently used professional attire for interviews, internships, and the workplace.

They are actively seeking clothing donations that are in excellent condition, whether they are brand new or gently used. Now is the perfect time to dive into that belated-spring cleaning you may have put off and declutter your closet!

For more information and specific details, please refer to the flyer below. Questions can be directed to Amanda Bobo, Associate Director for Employer Relations in the Hegi Family Career Development Center at

Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

The Office of General Education begins recruiting students for the Common Curriculum Reading

The Office of General Education has begun recruiting undergraduate students for this Fall’s Common Curriculum Reading – a revised version of the Common Reading.

The Common Curriculum Reading is open to all SMU undergraduate students, but will target juniors and seniors who have not completed their Civics & Individual Ethics Proficiency and Experience. Students who opt-in to the program will engage in 8 reading group meetings and discussions with their peers and program facilitators. The facilitators represent various areas across campus, including:

The book selection for Fall 2024 is “Artificial Unintelligence” by Meredith Broussard. Broussard discusses the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in modern society, and the public’s belief that AI can solve all the world’s problems. However, Broussard argues that there are social and ethical issues that AI can’t resolve.

Staff and faculty are encouraged to promote the program to their undergraduate students. Students who are interested in this co-curricular activity should complete the Qualtrics sign-up survey.

The Office of General Education is excited about this unique reading experience, and looks forward to the program’s first meeting on September 10th, 2024.


Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

ADSA Accentuates Academic Achievements of 2023-2024

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is proud of its student-athletes who consistently demonstrate excellence in both academics and athletics. We understand the unique challenges they face in balancing a demanding sports schedule with rigorous coursework. Our Mustangs arise to the exceed these standards every semester!

The Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) program is a cornerstone of SMU’s commitment to student-athlete success. ADSA provides a comprehensive support system that includes: 

  • Academic Counseling: ADSA advisors help student-athletes make informed decisions about their academic pursuits, from choosing a major to planning their course schedules. They also ensure athletes maintain NCAA eligibility requirements. 
  • Learning Skills Specialists: These specialists identify areas where student-athletes can improve, such as writing skills or time management. They offer personalized strategies and support to enhance academic performance. 
  • Tutoring and Class Checking: ADSA connects student-athletes with qualified tutors for a wide range of subjects for undergraduate students. If interested in becoming a tutor for the ADSA, submit an application here. Additionally, class checking services ensure attendance in class. 

Academic Achievement and Recognition 

The dedication of our student-athletes and the effectiveness of ADSA’s support are evident in SMU’s recent academic achievements: 

  • Public Recognition from the NCAA: Four SMU programs – men’s golf, women’s golf, rowing, and women’s soccer – received a perfect Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 1,000, earning prestigious Public Recognition from the NCAA. View the APR results of the 2023 year
  • Surpassing Departmental and National Goals: Fourteen out of fifteen Mustang programs exceeded the departmental goal of a 975 APR score over four years. Additionally, thirteen programs scored equal to or higher than the national average in their respective sports. 

Spring 2024 Academic Highlights: 

  • Spring 2024 Athletic Department GPA:  3.25 
  • 72% of student-athletes received a 3.0 GPA in the Spring 2024 semester
  •  70% of student-athletes received a cumulative GPA above a 3.0
  • Top Single term Team GPAs: 
    • Women’s Cross Country: 3.728 
    • Men’s Tennis: 3.548 
  • Top Cumulative Team GPAs: 
    • Women’s Cross Country: 3.744 
    • Men’s Tennis: 3.629 
    • 55 Student-Athletes earned a perfect 4.00 GPA 

SMU’s student-athletes are true champions, excelling both on the field and in the classroom. They are well-positioned to achieve their athletic and academic goals heading into the ACC on July 1, 2024. Pony Up!  

Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Success & Retention University Testing Center

Undergraduate Education and Academic Success units closed Monday, July 1 for staff retreat

The Undergraduate Education and Academic Success area within the Division of Student Academic Engagement and Success will close on Monday, July 1, for a staff retreat.

We encourage our constituents to use our websites or office self-service portals during this time for answers to common questions and requests.

Units include:

We will reopen during standard operating hours on Tuesday, July 2.

Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success Student Success & Retention

Crossing the Finish Line cohort continues to thrive in Spring 2024

The Office of Student Success and Retention (SSR) is committed to providing support and resources to help students overcome challenges and achieve their goals on the Hilltop.  

Crossing the Finish Line is a program that assists SMU students with completing their degrees. The Office of Student Success and Retention works collaboratively with University Decision Support, academic advisors, and School Records Offices to identify undergraduate students who have left SMU and were close to graduation based on credit hours but did not attend another university. The purpose of Crossing the Finish Line is to use re-engagement efforts to support those students in graduating within the four to six-year timeframe. 

SSR invited a select number of students to participate in the Spring 2024 cohort, and 4 out of 15 invited students decided to return to SMU, or students currently attending SMU utilized this initiative to complete their degree.  

Dr. Sheri Kunovich, Associate Provost for Student Academic Engagement and Success, Dr. Dustin Grabsch, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Success, and Shun Colter, Assistant Director of SSR worked together to identify eligible students who meet the requirements for Crossing the Finish Line. This criteria includes a GPA of 1.8 or above, in good standing with the University, and residing in the Dallas area. 

Crossing the Finish Line, is one of the Student Success initiatives led by SSR, such as Summer Forge, that support and empower students to succeed from their first day through graduation.  

Please contact Shun Colter for more information about Crossing the Finish Line. 







Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

Meet the May Mustang Champions

Southern Methodist University recognizes 4 outstanding student-athletes every month through the Mustang Champions program. Nominations come from both ADSA (Academic Development of Student-Athletes) and athletics staff. These awards celebrate student- athletes who: 

  • Strive for excellence: This could be through improvement in academics, athletics, or both. 
  • Live the S.P.I.R.I.T. of SMU Athletics: S.P.I.R.I.T. stands for the values that SMU athletics strive to uphold. S is for service (we are here for others), P is for Passion (we love what we do), I for Integrity (we do the right thing), R is for Respect (we follow the golden rule), I for Innovation (we seek a better way), and T for Teamwork (we are bound together).  
  • Champion student-athlete success initiatives:  Participation in programs or activities that support student-athlete well-being or academic achievement, like Life After Ball (LAB), SAAC, or BSAC. 

Let’s meet the 4 student-athletes that were selected in May: 

Emily Odwin (Women’s Golf): 

 Emily is a sophomore transfer student-athlete from Barbados that joined the Mustangs in January 2024. Not only did she excel in the classroom, impressing her professors with her stellar academic performance, but she also played a pivotal role in leading the SMU women’s golf team to back-to-back AAC Championships. She became the first golfer from her nation to win an American Collegiate Conference Championship. This accomplishment wasn’t her only first; Emily also holds the distinction of being the first Barbadian woman to ever compete in NCAA Division-1 golf. Her impact on the SMU team was undeniable. Throughout the season, Emily participated in all seven tournaments, showcasing her talent and contributing to a remarkable run that saw the Mustangs claim victory in four of those events. Individually, Emily’s consistency was on display as she secured four top-10 finishes.  Emily’s impressive debut season at SMU was further celebrated when she was awarded the prestigious “Newcomer of the Year” honor by SMU Athletics. 

Camryn McPhaul (Track & Field) 

Camryn, a junior Track and Field student-athlete is known for her leadership qualities. She is an active participant in SMU’s Black Student-Athlete Committee (BSAC) and she took the initiative to attend the Black Student-Athlete Summit in California this year. A significant event that empowers Black student-athletes to excel academically, professionally, and personally.  As an engineering major, her passion for the field shines brightly. This summer, she landed an internship at Parkhub, a software company based in Dallas. This is a fantastic opportunity that allows her to gain valuable experience in the engineering industry. Camryn’s leadership doesn’t stop there. Recognizing the need for support and resources for student-athletes interested in STEM fields, she has become a pioneer in establishing a STEM group specifically for SMU student-athletes. This initiative will undoubtedly pave the way for future generations of athletes to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

 Alex Yang (Men’s Golf):  

 Alex Yang, a driven MBA student at SMU’s Cox School of Business, landed a coveted spot at Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners, putting his networking skills and the opportunities provided by Life After Ball (LAB) to the test. Alex exemplifies the ideal LAB student, actively seeking out ways to connect and grow professionally. His proactive approach has landed him a prime internship at a well-respected venture capital firm. This internship provides Alex with invaluable exposure to the exciting world of start-up funding and investment. 

Niv Berkovitz (Men’s Soccer):  

 Niv Berkovitz comes to the Hilltop from Israel, where he was a member of the U17 and U18 national team and participated in the Israeli cup. Niv is a sophomore currently studying finance at SMU and finished his Spring semester with a 4.0. Niv “is one of the most hard working and dedicated students I know. He never backs down from a challenge and always finds a way to make it work. He is humble, determined, and kind-hearted!” said Kelsey Smith, his academic counselor.  We are excited to see what he can accomplish during his time at SMU!  

 We’ve honored some incredible Mustang Champions this May! Be sure to tune in next month to meet four new student-athletes who are pushing their limits in the gym and the classroom, to become World Changers! 

Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center President’s Scholars Student Academic Success Programs Writing Center

Writing Center Lounge Adds Student Art

Our first rotating art pieces are up and running in the Writing Center.  Currently, we are displaying artwork by Nastya Shyvilka.  Not only a talented artist and President’s Scholar, Nastaya works in the A-LEC as a Russian and biology tutor.  We will have more pieces on display and a bio on Nastaya shortly.  Designed as a welcoming space for students seeking writing assistance from our faculty and staff, the Writing Center is also a lounge and we invite students to come, relax and work with other students on projects.